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Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 23, 2022 @ 05:02 PM | 4,606 Views
The thing I like about the smart chargers are they do a better job balancing, more accurate, easier to read and can measure internal resistance during charging.
The downside of the smart chargers at least for mine are they are extremely slow on discharging due to their small size and lack of heat sink. Just a fan. Not a problem for me because I have other heavy duty chargers that can discharge up to 5 amps. The fact that I run my batteries down to 50% on average for every flight means I do not have to storage charge.
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 23, 2022 @ 04:38 PM | 4,270 Views
I have three single chargers or smart chargers, one dual 400 x 2 charger and one quad charger with four ports.

Had one single charger die on me years back.

Now my quad charger is a three port charger because of one of the ports is bad. And it appears that maybe a second port on that quad charger is on its way out also. I know this because when I plug a battery into Port one I get 4 amps charging but when I plug into your Port too with the same cables I only get two and a half amps with the same battery and charging leads. Payed $30 for the quad charger so considering I've been using it for years I think it's not so bad. Also one time when I was charging a plastic bag block the fan holes causing charger to overheat causing the second port damage. The fact that I pushed the charger to the limit to its maximum charging capacity also probably does not help. All my other chargers are capable of charge at a much higher rate than what I'm actually using them for so I don't push those to the limit.

I have a smart charger that may have a problem with six cell batteries. It appears to work fine at the beginning but as it warms up something happens to the six cell on the charger. I made a habit of charging the same battery on that same charger which is a good idea because I've got a bunch of six cell batteries. Each six cell pack is charged on its own charger.
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 23, 2022 @ 01:14 PM | 4,201 Views
When troubleshooting a charger it also encompasses the power supply if not internal, charger Leads, balance board, and battery, balance leads. So this blog is also about all of the above.

Connections
There are a lot of connections that can go bad intermittent or partially bad. Charger leads can break often and connectors can go bad. Bad connectors can be balance lead or battery and charge lead connectors, balance bored connectors charger lead connectors including banana plugs on some chargers.
One connection not often thought of is the connection between the power supply and the charger if the power supply is external. Feel the connections for heat. If there is heat then there is a bad connection. The same applies to battery connections and aircraft connections. Overtime the leads/connectors can fail.
Thin stranded wire will last longer than thick stranded wire of the same gauge. The more flexible the better. Preferably copper.

Internal failure in charger
Assuming your power supply is adequate for your charger, neads to supply correct voltage and current.
Problems can be in the charger internally which may not be repairable. Other than maybe simple connections inside the charger, there is not a lot you can do to fix it. I had one charger with the power supply Jack go bad on charger. I simply soldered the wire permanently to charge. The problem in many chargers is you simply can't get into it easily to repair it. Charger cover is usually a heat sink with some...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 22, 2022 @ 07:01 PM | 3,795 Views
Line straight horizontal.
Vertical.
Wing wave/rock.
Tale wag.
Figure 8 Horizontal.
Inverted figure 8 horizontal.
Vertical figure 8 / Cuban figure 8.
Half Cuban 8.
Half reversed Cuban 8.
Roll.
Barrel roll.
Loop.
Inverted loop.
Inverted
Inverted turn 90/180/360.
Inside loop / non-inverted at top / rolling loop.
Square loop.
Square loop inverted.
Half roll over top 180 / Immelman.
Inverted half roll over top 180 similar to outside loop.
Hammerhead / Stall Turn.
Double hammerhead / stall turn and flat vertical spin.
Flat spin.
Flat inverted spin.
Knife edge.
Knife edge turn 90 / 180 / 360.
Knife edge Tale wag.
Knife edge loop -Extreme. maneuver / flat vertical loop.
Harrier / Elevator.
Rolling harrier.
Rolling turn.
Hover.
Hovering flip - extreme.
Vertical roll / up down.
Vertical Spiral / up down.
Tail slide/Vertical drop backwards or whip stall.
Flat loop.
Flat inverted loop.
Snap roll.
Snap roll. Inside/outside
Snap roll yaw.
Flare / plow.
High speed break


Ground loop is with aircraft on the ground. Sometimes with vectored thrust.
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 22, 2022 @ 05:38 PM | 3,683 Views
What makes a good landing?

Good airspeed
Low rate/expo
Low angle of attack.
Knowing your aircraft's characteristics.
Wind conditions.
Judging distance.
Knowing your air field or Landing strip.
Practice.
Recognizing when something is wrong and how to fix it.

Landing in a appropriate area like in the middle of the field where there are no obstacles rather than the edge of field where there are many objects to crash into. Distance is compressed when the aircraft is coming toward you and it's hard to judge distance so aim for the middle of the field is usually the better choice. Often RC pilots do not use the field in its entirety to their advantage but rather use one corner of it misjudging distance from edge of field usually where there are trees and other obstructions.
In other words don't make your descent before you're over the field. Don't pass behind trees during landings or any other time.

Landing strips
These issues become more compounded when landing in crosswinds. Increase your airspeed. Determine whether or not your aircraft lands well with or without flaps. Again judging distance is not a good idea, don't try to land at the very beginning of the air strip. Shoot more to the center is usually a better solution.

Putting wheels on the ground.
Often problems that people have on landings is they don't put the wheels on the ground before the aircraft stalls. They let their aircraft fly parallel to the ground expecting something good to happen....Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 20, 2022 @ 08:01 PM | 4,061 Views
Being in the radio communications industry I had to do a lot of testing of radio equipment and often used a dummy load with a RF meter or other equipment.

Another type of dummy load would be for checking a power source. This would be on the idea of like checking a car battery with a load tester for example.

One thing I found very useful in RC planes is to evaluate the reliability of the
Receiver Battery/BEC using a dummy load test.
Unsure if you're receiver power source is up to the job of reliably supplying power to your RC aircraft system? If not it could be a very short flight especially if you're the one who built it. Just because it works on the ground doesn't mean it's going to continue to work in the air reliably. Many of aircraft have crashed because of this situation. When servo's get moving, they put a load and noise into the system and sometimes the receiver reboots in flight causing a crash. You can have the best radio system there is but if your power source isn't up to the job, you may be the one at your field making the Walk of shame.

I have used 4 x 1ohm 10 Watt resistors in series for testing receiver power sources connected to a servo lead. This gives you the option of going from 1 to 4 ohms depending on the kind of load that you want to add to your aircraft. The link below will go into detail and how to do it and what you need. If you don't have Telemetry or Vmeters or watt meters to use, simple math is all you really need to do this test with the resistors and servo lead. If you connect the resistors directly to power source than a servo lead is not needed, just the resistors.

The link below shows a simple way of adding a dummy load to your receiver power source to see if control is lost due to a lack of power to the receiver. The link also goes into many other problems you may run into in RC aircraft.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...s#post48002885
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 18, 2022 @ 06:03 PM | 7,128 Views
When you have a receiver that also has a external remote receiver or satellite receiver they are binded together at the same time. So often you are binding two receivers. You can bind as many receivers together as you want sometimes at the same time or one at a time so long as they're the same or in the same class but do not bind 2 or more telemetry receivers together. There can only be one Telemetry receiver. When binding make sure that the LED's from all receiver including remote satellite receiver indicators show that they are all binded together. If not then you will not have the benefit of the receiver diversity which is more is better than less.
It doesn't matter if you have two main receivers and two remote receivers making 4 receivers. You can bind them all as long as they're the same class. If they are the same model then you know they are. Just do not bind 2 or more Telemetry receivers together.

What determines bind class is the speed and the type of the receiver.

Speed
Spektrum receivers
Older receivers tend to be the 22 millisecond variety.

Newer 6 channel receivers and up maybe 11milliseconds.

Types of spektrum receiver would be DSM or
Dsm2
Dsmx.

Speed and type of receiver is displayed during binding and is set in the receiver and cannot be changed.

As long as the receivers are the same type for instance dsmx and speed 22ms, and if the receivers have the same amount of channels binding will be relatively easy. Receivers do not need to have the same...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 18, 2022 @ 03:12 PM | 7,712 Views
Servo wobble not to be confused with jitter, twitching or humming.

I've been flying for 35 years, I have seen this problem at least on three occasions on different aircraft.

Servo wobble is where the servo appears to go past the center point and then has to come back overshooting the center again going back and forth eventually settles down at center. This would suggest a bad connection. The servo also appears to be moving slower.
This could be due to a bad servo lead extension or the servo wire/connector itself or a bad servo. The bad connection could even go all the way back to the receiver.

First thing to do is to test the servo by plugging it into another source for example if you have an aileron that has wobble, and there are two servos for the ailerons, switch to two wires so the left is right and the right is now left. If the wobble is still on the same servo then you know it's not the receiver connection. It could be a servo extension lead going to the servo or the connection at the servo. Worst case scenario it's a bad servo.
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 08, 2022 @ 03:41 PM | 30,419 Views
The older days when we used 72 MHz radio systems this was a common problem. Now that we're in the 2.4 GHz band it's less of a problem but can still happen. A servo always searching for the center position and it never finds it going back and forth due to a dirty rheostat is defective but if the center position is readjusted that problem can stop or just cleaning the rheostat internally.
Servo humming . A freer moving control surface may help this problem. Stiff moving control surfaces will make servo work harder and wear out sooner or even break. If you disconnect linkage and the servo continues to hum then there's something else wrong.

Electrical noise or interference can be combated by twisting servo wires to help prevent some problems with servo jitter.
Servos interfering with one another. Using capacitors or ferrite ring. The same is often done with the BEC or UBEC from the ESC to filter noise from switching power source.
When Servos generates noise in the system that is supplying the power and it feeds back to the other servos through the receiver which may be susceptible to noise. Rather than replacing the jittery servos, a capacitor could be installed at the receiver to filter out noise and give a little extra filtering to the receive from servo movements. If this does not solve the problem. You may isolate which servo is generating the noise by moving all control surfaces one by one. If channel one is moved and the servos jitter then it's channel 1. Go to...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 07, 2022 @ 09:19 PM | 25,419 Views
I fly mostly wood aircraft. I've flown a lot of foam aircraft too. Some drones I fly have carbon in them.

I have used straws or use clear tape to tape the antennas in place. I have punctured holes in foam and place the antenna in the hole. Taping a antenna to balsa wood, foam or monocot has very little or no effect.


Antennas can be affected by many materials especially anything that's conductive like carbon fiber or metal.

Carbon fiber or metal aircraft cannot have antennas on the inside of aircraft.

Fiberglass does change antenna characteristics so do not tape antenna to fiberglass but in most cases antenna can be inside aircraft.

When taping antennas, use clear tape. Other types of tape may change tuning characteristics.

Some heat shrink tubing does not affect the antenna much where is other heat shrink tubing could have a big effect on tuning of antenna. Clear might be the better choice including tubes or straws. Plastic will probably be okay. The darker the color the more effect it could have on tuning. A Microwave oven operates at a frequency close to 2.4ghz. you can test different materials in the microwave and see if it reacts to it. Set timer for say 20 seconds or so. Low Watt microwaves can run longer. If it heats up then it is reacting to the RF. In that case do not use that material. Do I have to say don't put the receiver in the microwave?

Mount antennas as far away from conductive objects as much as possible. Avoid running antennas...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 06, 2022 @ 12:20 AM | 42,108 Views
I've been using both types of LED strips for 12 years but haven't really put an awful lot of miles on them. What I have found is the first thing I noticed is those waterproof strips which are normally clear and thick turn yellow and affecting the color of LEDs after a couple of years. White waterproof strips will turn yellow. Just from being in storage in a air conditioned home.

The flat non waterproof type of LED strips are more aesthetic. They never change color. They are also flat compared to the others which lends them to be just taped onto a surface or just using the back sticky backing tape and sticking them on. I do both stick them on and then take them on with clear long lasting storage packing tape which will also help to protect them. I use a lot of that especially on foam. Makes wings and tails stronger.
The flat LED strips are also easier to solder and you simply cut them and solder to the terminals. The thick ones not as easy.

As far as how long the lights last I intend to think I'm leaning towards the flat strips but I don't really know.
Maybe after another 12 more years we'll see after I put some more miles on these lights.

I also like the three color green blue red combo which can make more color in combination. All three colors make a brilliant white with a slight blue tint. Any other combination will make a different color like yellow orange or purple I believe but don't hold me to that. I only use white red and blue myself. So you get a lot of colors out of one strip. If you get a control module for that you can do patterns and more colors but I just use the strip without the controller. Cheaper also.
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 05, 2022 @ 08:10 PM | 45,460 Views
I basically found a new way to switch a servo signal remotely which is not at all industry standard and is more like a joy rig but I find it works. I would not use it for flight control surfaces just because it's an untested thing even though it works for me and what I want to do with it which is controlling non flight control surfaces. I'm basically using it with two receivers and could even use with three receivers.

I have a spare RC video camera switching device which I've been using one on my drone for three cameras. So I took my spare video remote switch and rigged it up to 2 receivers, one is the master receiver 1 that actually controls the switch and also feeds another channel to the switch and the other receiver 2 this there for another purpose. Basically the switch switches whatever channels from whatever receiver up to three signals. I'm just switching two signals at the moment. In this case I will use it to drive another module that remotely turns on/off 12 volt LEDs.

When I first connected my cameras to this RC video switch all the power or red wires feeding the cameras we're not a direct feed through from the input to the RC video switch. None of the cameras had power so after jumping all the red and black wires together to get all the cameras to work with power everything worked fine. I guess that's because some cameras work on different voltages so they were not connected even though they're marked as positive but in reality they're not connected....Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 05, 2022 @ 10:52 AM | 47,498 Views
There are numerous reasons why an electric aircraft can start unintentionally and cause damage and harm. Some aircraft especially electric drones and heli's have just started up all by themselves and flown away. This can be avoided by understanding how it all works.

What is really important is to understand the radio system in which you are using and read the directions specifically for that radio system which includes a transmitter. If the transmitter did not come with that aircraft then that transmitter directions you will need read for the throttle settings and throttle features. Then after understanding directions you will test it on the ground preferably with the propellers removed. Or the aircraft tie down or held in place. Doing this indoors with all kinds of materials around it could prove to be a hurricane like experience.

What you'll do as a test is first engaged throttle to maybe 25% and motors will be running, then turn off the transmitter when it is in control of the aircraft. See whether or not the motors will continue to run at that speed with the transmitter turned off. Motors will either turn off or they will hold their position in speed. The other possibility is the speed of the motors will go to a pre-programmed position which could be anywhere from 0 to 100%.. For aircraft with flight controllers this can be more complicated requiring more expertise.

Another test is when the transmitter is in control of the aircraft, test if throttle will start,...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 03, 2022 @ 08:56 PM | 52,029 Views
Lithium battery fires are very intense and produce extremely toxic and explosive gases that are lethal and corrosive. The damage from the smoke alone can be huge. There is no container that can contain a lipo fire due to the high pressure and gases produced by a burning LiPo battery. If attempting to keep a battery sealed in a container will cause the reaction to be much more violent which could explode.

One way to extinguish a lipo fire is to use silica Sand.
Most White Sandy beaches is silica sand made from quartz. If getting it at the beach is not an option you can purchased it at home improvement and hardware store.

One reason that sand is used to put out a lipo battery that has caught fire is that the lithium metal inside the LiPo battery when charged will actually ignite when in contact with water. That is why the battery is vacuum sealed to keep out moisture and humidity. Some batteries may even puff up and that is the gas that is built up inside the battery but it's sealed inside. A battery that is not sealed will most likely accumulate humidity and moisture which causes a chemical reaction and in worst case scenario a fire.

If water is available that can be used also but it will not put out the battery itself but can extinguish some materials that have caught on fire. The drawback with this is lithium reacts to water creating unwanted gases that are even more explosive than without water. Must be ventilation.


A gallon of dry silica sand weighs...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 02, 2022 @ 01:02 PM | 52,154 Views
I have talked a number of times about how do you detect interference. One of my jobs used to be doing just that. Working in the industrial radio communications industry sometimes on towers as high as 2000 ft. I had $30,000 test equipment that I could do spectrum analyzations and more. So I do have work experience in the matter.

When I was in the industry and the equipment was being interfered with, all I had to do is disconnect the antenna cable from that equipment and connect it to my service monitor and see if it was interference there potentially interfering with this equipment or was it something more simple like a bad antenna, cable or connection.

What is different for Us RC pilots is where the interference is.

As an RC pilot I have seen many aircraft go down but only a few as a result of radio interference. Most of the time other than pilot error the aircraft went down due to a failure was because of the power source to receiver, defective equipment or bad installation, antenna orientation and placement and second would be mechanical failure. A distant last would be radio interference. Rare but does happen with equipment that usually is deffective or of very low quality. A system that is not working to its best is more susceptible to interference. Sometimes it takes two devices to add up to a failure. It could be a combination of both receiver and transmitter. Swap out one item and problem may go away. One example for me was I was using an aircraft...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 02, 2022 @ 10:25 AM | 45,050 Views
This thread/blog pertains mainly to remote control aircraft equipment at least within the early 2000s and present. It pertaining to programming only and not actual installation which is another subject altogether.

There are many brands of RC remote control equipment. Some have similarities and some not so much. We are not going to go in to detail but rather hit the more basics of equipment pertaining mainly to aircraft but I suppose could also pertain to some surface RC vehicles as well.

Some transmitters and receivers are limited or have no programming parameters. Whereas other RC equipment has many programming parameters. You do not have to know all of them but you should know the most basic and the most helpful programming aspects of these devices.

Programmable transmitters and receivers. Those that are programmable tend to have certain features which may include

Gyro stabilization settings
Auto leveling
Fail safe
Rate
Exponential
Priority
Heading hold
Flight Mode
Aircraft types typically five types
Dual ailerons
Dual elevators
Dual Rutters
Dual motors
These settings may be in transmitter or receiver.

Trims
Servo Travel
Servo speed
Timers
Alerts
Mixes
Swash plate
Gear / auxiliary
Flaps
Dual Flaps
Air brakes
Ignition kill
Retrax
Just to name some but not all settings.
These settings tend to be in the transmitter only but are not limited to these, in fact there can be many more settings for example telemetry settings and so...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Jan 01, 2022 @ 06:09 PM | 45,854 Views
I go back a ways in remote control first using 72 mhz in the US and my transmitter and receiver was am. then came FM and pcm. The problem for me was I could get easily knocked out of the sky even though I was the only remote control aircraft in the whole area. Was not even a flying field nearby because I was flying over the ocean. Problem with that is the ships going by use radar and ship to shore radio's which is more than enough to interfere with the 72 MHz radio which had no frequency hopping. Other radio transmitters could also interfere with 72 MHz including other RC radios.
Do not confused 27 MHz RC aircraft with 72 mhz. 27 MHz is a very low grade toy aircraft. They may work but can very easily be interfered with. Both 72 and 27 MHz uses a long extendable transmitter antenna which if you forget to extend could lead to a crash. And the aircraft antenna is usually hanging out the back because of its extra long length especially on smaller aircraft on 27mhz.

Fast forward to now the most common systems today use 2.4 GHz. The first thing you may notice right off the bat is there's no long extendable antenna like there was on the older 72 and 27 MHz transmiters. No long antenna to extend. Antennas are very short especially on the receivers where space inside the aircraft may be limited.
There are many different grades and quality radios using this radio band. There is toy grade usually under $100 and there's hobby grade which you can spend any amount from a low...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 27, 2021 @ 10:05 PM | 25,798 Views
I do not fly toy grade aircraft with the exception of two toy grade drones that I use for practice sometimes before I use my two other non toy grade DJI and Hudsan drones. I fly futaba and spektrum planes ON 2.4.

There was a 7 year old flying today and doing quite well. That's the youngest person I've seen fly reliably at my field. I was able to teach an 11 year old girl how to fly and she did well too a few years back.

The 7-year-old was flying toy grade aircraft like non spektrum or other brand non toy grade radios. The father said that they have some aircraft that will not work at our field which has a monster size cell tower on top of a warehouse shadowing our field. But the same aircraft will work at other locations other than at our field. For the most part there's not much interference where I fly but there is a strong microwave signal being beamed to the north that cuts right through the park of our flying field. Have one receiver that will be interfered with by that microwave signal if you fly directly into it but will be okay to the side of it. Receiver is a s603 Mrcron which was a very cheap receiver when I bought it maybe 10 years ago for a drone. Change that receiver and problem went away.
Without fail every time in the same exact spot the drone would hit the radio interference freeze for a few seconds and then return to home. So I know there is interference there but in general decent receivers and even some not so great receivers usually do not...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 17, 2021 @ 10:03 AM | 9,163 Views
I remember when I first joined RC groups in Dec 2019, it was not easy to get on the website to begin with maybe because of my small screen on my smartphone it took me quite a while to go through the hurdles that often made it so you would fail and not be able to register and get on RC groups in order to use the website for posting. But I kept at it and finally got on it. Don't know if it was me but it seemed pretty ridiculous. I have considered making an email address that some people who cannot get on RC groups will be able to contact some one who is registered like myself. I know there are people without a blocked and probably for good reason, I'm not interested in that I'm more interested in why it was hard for myself to originally become a registered member of RC groups user. Again it may have been me but don't really know.

Here's one example and maybe a solution if you have the same problem.

https://www.rcgroups.com/forums/show...er-registering

Attacking Posters and inappropriate postings.

Almost no one will attack you on your blogs that you create. You are the moderator. So they seem to know that you can delete them or they're not aware of your blog post. Don't know which is true.
Same applies to your for sale and want adds. Unwanted posts can be delete by the Creator of the post.

On forums, or threads If you post you're negative experiences of a product or thing, it is a guarantee that you will be attacked by multiple people in the industry and if...Continue Reading
Posted by Alan 3D | Dec 17, 2021 @ 09:47 AM | 8,985 Views
What's up with these guys doing knife edges with their wing tips just a couple inches from the ground. Are they doing anything special to keep the aircraft that accurately and precisely?
It looks like they're using a barometer and flight controller that keeps the aircraft at perfect altitude which would seem even more difficult in a knife edge. Or are they just that precise when doing a knife edge for hundreds of feet at a time with no change in distance from the wingtip to the ground while making multiple turns at the same time going back and forth.?

I am proficient in doing knife edges but I'm doing them usually 50 ft off the ground. I'm not going to do knife edges with my wing tips 5 inches from the ground. That could result in a cartwheel and crash.
Where I fly the field is nowhere near level and the grass tends to hide that fact how bumpy it is. Go to your field at night and use your headlights or a good spotlight and you'll see whether or not your field is bumpy or not. You might be amazed and you may not have even known where the bumps are. I've even lost temporary site of my aircraft when on the ground due to the fact that the field was so bumpy.